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Religion enhances mobility toward American dream, LDS Church says

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  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 12:35 p.m.

    The Bible Belt was the area of the nation with the worst income mobility.

  • dimelo PEYTON, CO
    Aug. 20, 2013 1:11 p.m.

    So exactly how does this "gospel of prosperity" (Calvanism) work? I have been religious my whole life, served a mission, got two engineering degrees (rigorous route to go) and now I have been out of work for more than a year with 20 years before retirement -- social mobility in reverse! In fact, I lost my job mostly due to my religious affiliation. So much for you live righteously and you prosper; I am not buying it.

    In fact, I would attribute what is happening to Anti-Christ doctrine (Social Darwinism, or survival of the fittest) -- "every man prospers according to his own genius" is really a lie, as the most unscrupulous and greedy are the ones prospering the most. Just witness the financial thugs on Wall Street with their million dollar bonuses after they were rescued by tax payers after sinking the world economy. Winner take all, or the biggest thugs take all?

    So, please, spare me the righteous will prosper, when I know first-hand what a big lie it is.

  • JD Jones Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 1:17 p.m.

    "That's why Salt Lake City — dominated by Mormons — has mobility levels that compare with Denmark's (cited earlier in the column as one of the international leaders in social mobility)."

    The above quote begs the question: Why is the Deseret News trying to make a case for Mormonism when it's clear that social capital leading social mobility is possible without being religious? Denmark is the least religious country in Europe, and yet it seems that Mormons are being compared to a high standard of social capital and social mobility. Instead of focusing on Denmark, the writer immediately talks about the ways in which religious institutions generate social capital instead of talking about how a non-religious country manages to generate so social capital and social mobility. The article seems to hint that social capital and social mobility is less likely to occur without religion. Clearly this can't be the case if the writer is comparing the LDS Church to an unreligious Denmark.

    The question we should be asking is this: What can everyone learn about a very non-religious country?

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 1:19 p.m.

    @dimelo,

    Don't have a job? Make yourself marketable.

    It really IS that simple.

    It's not Mitt Romney's responsibility to get you a job or pay your bills. It's yours.

    Deal with it.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 20, 2013 1:36 p.m.

    "It's not Mitt Romney's responsibility to get you a job or pay your bills. It's yours.
    Deal with it."

    Ahhh

    Another passionate conservative.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 2:00 p.m.

    It's because when you pay tithing you get blessings, even rich blessings.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    Aug. 20, 2013 2:08 p.m.

    @Chris B re "Don't have a job? Make yourself marketable. It really IS that simple."

    The only thing simple about that remark is its callousness. There are plenty of unemployed people who've made themselves very marketable who are having difficulty in a sick market.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 20, 2013 2:08 p.m.

    make the

    "compassionate conservative"

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    Aug. 20, 2013 2:17 p.m.

    JoeBlow ... I'm a compassionate conservative. Should I ask DN to remove my first comment?

  • WRK Riverton, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 2:40 p.m.

    It is interesting to me how many jobs there are out there that people will not take because those jobs are "beneath them".

    You might think about that dimelo, JoeBlow, & Moontan.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 2:44 p.m.

    Joe Blow,

    Are you going to correct the "make the" comment now? You're really struggling here aren't you?

    I reiterate. The only way this country will ever succeed is for each person to say "my problems are my problems." The problem with handing out other people's money is eventually their money runs out. And we're still in the same place

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 20, 2013 2:46 p.m.

    Other findings of the study:

    "We found significant correlations between intergenerational mobility and income inequality, economic and racial residential segregation, measures of K-12 school quality (such as test scores and high school dropout rates), social capital indices, and measures of family structure (such as the fraction of single parents in an area). In particular, areas with a smaller middle class had lower rates of upward mobility."

    "We caution that all of the findings in this study are correlational and cannot be interpreted as
    causal effects. For instance, areas with high rates of segregation may also have other differences that could be the root cause driving the differences in children’s outcomes. What is clear from this research is that there is substantial variation in the United States in the prospects for escaping poverty. Understanding the properties of the highest mobility areas-and how we can improve mobility in areas that currently have lower rates of mobility–is an important question for future research that we and other social scientists are exploring."

  • Sorry Charlie! SLC, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 2:48 p.m.

    @Chris B
    The man has two engineering degrees how exactly is he suppose to make himself more marketable? Bu hiding his education so he can get a poverty level job at Walmart? that sounds goof then we can pay through our taxes for his food, healthcare and loan defaults while Walmart makes massive profits.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 20, 2013 2:58 p.m.

    atl134,

    Yes, but religion here is more fractured. Still, I have witnessed the social capital aspects. But there are other issues (education and historic wealth among them).

    Dimelo,

    It is not a prosperity gospel issue. Nor does it mean that none suffer. Simply that, on average, the social capital is a benefit. BTW, sorry about your situation. It is very difficult. I hope it improves for you.

    JD Jones

    It’s not that it is not possible without religion. Simply that religion supplies social capital. Also, Denmark is tiny and much less diverse than the US.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 3:05 p.m.

    What about Mississippi?

    Highest per capita church attendance yet lowest literacy rate.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 3:22 p.m.

    @Chris B
    "Make yourself marketable. "

    That's only legal in Nevada. (Yes I know I am taking that comment way too literal but an obnoxious comment is rather worthy of a snarky response).

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 3:27 p.m.

    @Moontan,

    Yes there are.

    And it's STILL THEIR responsibility to pay their own bills.

    And no point does that responsibility shift to Mitt Romney.

    Liberals would be wise to learn that.

  • Utahdane Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 3:48 p.m.

    I find it interesting that Denmark and Utah have high social mobility. It is a fact that Utah has the highest percentage of people of any state in the United States that are Danish. Do Danes have a natural talent for social mobility?

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 3:52 p.m.

    Sorry Charlie,

    Please tell me you don't believe the only way to make yourself marketable is through engineering degrees.

    What is the solution to someone who is out of work.

    Make yourself more marketable. That is always the answer.

    Sorry if that's tough to hear.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 3:59 p.m.

    @Twin Lights
    "But there are other issues (education and historic wealth among them)."

    Absolutely. My comment was too brief to adequately note that I'm not trying to say religion is a hindrance, just that I question the idea posed in the title.

    "Also, Denmark is tiny and much less diverse than the US."

    Incidentally, Salt Lake City (or Utah since the state as a whole scored rather high too) is rather tiny and much less diverse than the US (as a whole).

  • Utahdane Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 4:08 p.m.

    Charlie,

    I have 2 BA degrees and one MA degree. I am working 3 jobs that are below my level of education. I am also getting help from other sources. Help from others and helping yourself is the only way to success. You also might have to move. Good luck. It is very hard. It also helps to know people. That is why joining a church, political party, or club might help. By the way college education is paid for by taxpayers in Denmark. It also has a small population who are hard working and have strong cultural ties to their homeland.

  • Nosea Forest Grove, OR
    Aug. 20, 2013 4:28 p.m.

    Chris B:

    Your ignorance really shows in your response to Dimelo. A lot of us have experienced the same thing as he has.

    Many good IC designers for instance cannot get a job precisely because of Mitt Romney and others like him who outsource good IC design jobs to China and India and then for good measure bring tens of millions of Asians over here to give the rest of the design jobs to them here in my own country. It is called artificial market manipulation (to keep the wages down, but only for those on the bottom as we do not import CEOs) -- so that the CEOS and Mitt Romneys can walk away with millions of dollars the rest of us get pushed out of a job by a market saturated by Asians. I would like to see you "make yourself" marketable under such extreme conditions -- oh, but you businessmen have all the answers (just maybe that is why the economy is in such a mess, and the few are walking away with it all). According to you the 1% are the most marketable of all, because they are walking away with 93% of the profits. Get a clue.

  • Brother Benjamin Franklin Orem, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 4:36 p.m.

    It is quite clear that Chris B is attempting to make a joke here.

    Everyone take it easy, please.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 4:40 p.m.

    The two words progressive liberals hate the most - "religion" and "American dream". The new liberalism effectively kills the American dream and of course forces atheism.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 4:52 p.m.

    The contacts of LDS through their wards and stakes can be enormously useful to them. And the LDS Church welfare program is a model for many to copy. But the LDS Church has consistently opposed government social welfare floors such as social security and medicare. It's as though the Church sees government as a competitor to be crushed. So, the Church is very much a mixed bag from my point of view, a socialist. It overwhelmingly means well, but is ignorant of thinkers such as (and especially) Marx. The Church is wonderful, and leaves much to be desired politically, at the same time.

  • Utahdane Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 4:56 p.m.

    I do not believe what matters most is the people who run the system and not the system itself. Denmark has a very liberal system that works. Mormons have a very conservative system that works Both probably have very competent people running things. I do agree; however, that Socialism takes away incentives, but our current system pays management and a CEO way too much. How about a system that has more incentives for hard work. Why is labor taxed more than capital? Tax labor less, pay higher wages for higher profits. Have tax free benefits to the poor. Lower taxes for manufacturing in America. Give social security to those who have earned it and need it. Not to the lazy or the rich. These are my ideas.

  • MormonSean Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 5:15 p.m.

    God helps us change for the better. Other people can call it what they want and live in their world of cynicism. But I'm happy and I do better every time I rely on the Lord for my support and aid. It's pretty simple.

  • Johnny Moser Thayne, WY
    Aug. 20, 2013 5:24 p.m.

    Lots of engineering jobs out there in the world. You want a job in your field, you just might have to MOVE where the jobs are. You can't just get a couple of degrees in Engineering and then chose to live where jobs using your expertise aren't.

    Sometimes interesting that they chose to call it social mobility when it really DOES REQUIRE mobility. You can't park yourself in a one-horse town and expect to find the job you want.

  • RAB Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 5:25 p.m.

    What Denmark has in common with Utah is that a high percentage of the people live according to religious principles. Denmark may have the lowest numbers of people who belong to a religion, but they still obviously have a high number of people who live according to religious principles. The number of people professing to belong to a religion is irrelevant. What is important is the number of people who giving willfully to the poor and needy and who try to help people in need.

  • ImABeliever Provo, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 5:48 p.m.

    @ dimelo; obviously you may have Engineering Degrees but you don't know what prosperity means. Why people always associate prosperity with wealth is beyond me. This makes zero sense.
    Prosperity could mean good health, a good family things like that. Get off the prosperity equates to money and you will understand what real prosperity means and maybe count your blessings and be grateful to God.

  • dimelo PEYTON, CO
    Aug. 20, 2013 5:50 p.m.

    Johnny Moser:

    I have worked in Engineering for 20 years in 6 different states -- the problem is H1B visas coming over and taking all the engineering jobs now. And it is against their laws for me to take jobs in India or China. So, you have all the answers apparently, what do I do now?

    If you are 1 of 4000 plumbers in Denver CO and they dropped 20000 plumbers from India in your town, and the same is happening in all the other cities, your job is going to be gone, no matter how good of an engineer you are. But then again, you all have the answers to everything, right?

  • dimelo PEYTON, CO
    Aug. 20, 2013 6:12 p.m.

    ImABeliever

    I have a family with young children I need to provide for. I am supposed to go to Walmart then and try to provide for a family on poverty wages, and be grateful for my family nonetheless? I am not hearing too many practical answers. By the way, I am grateful for my family; I would like to be able to provide for them, and being wealthy has not ever been an option for us (I think you misjudged my situation).

  • ImABeliever Provo, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 6:23 p.m.

    To: Dimelo, I wasn't judging the situation. I was stating the fact that people don't understand what the definition of prosperity means. People are so narrow minded and cynical anymore it is frightening. Before texting, emailing came along people actually used the brain that God gave them. Now many aren't functional and are only short sighted.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 7:48 p.m.

    @dimelo
    My heart goes out to you. I was out of work from October 2008 to November 2011.
    I am working at about 1/3 the pay I was making in 2000.
    I feel like I'm working for the health insurance.
    I'm 59 years old.
    The American Dream hasn't worked for a lot of us lately. Our cheese has been moved and there isn't much we can do about it.

    Now, about the article. Utah is filled with "social capital," an interesting buzzword.
    Utah is also highly polarized between LDS and Gentiles. The Mormon connection is not as strong in the business and political world as our detractors suppose, but that still isn't much consolation to those who feel they are on the outside.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    Aug. 20, 2013 8:17 p.m.

    Sorry Charlie!
    SLC, UT
    @Chris B
    The man has two engineering degrees how exactly is he suppose to make himself more marketable? Bu hiding his education so he can get a poverty level job at Walmart? that sounds goof then we can pay through our taxes for his food, healthcare and loan defaults while Walmart makes massive profits."

    You can make yourself marketable by creating your own work. If no one hires you, get off your butt and hire yourself! there are trees to cut, lawn to mow, trash to pick, and millions of other services that you can provide. I am an engineer - work 3 jobs and loving it, 2 of which I created. You will be waiting a long time for Jesus to get you a job

  • Nosea Forest Grove, OR
    Aug. 20, 2013 9:34 p.m.

    VST

    I tried to send you some references, but keep getting censored.

    On Romney outsourcing jobs to China, just google "Romney outsourcing jobs to China," and you will see plenty hits come up.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 10:14 p.m.

    My heart goes out to anyone without work and it is callous for anyone to not express charity for anyone without work. The problem I have is with those who believe that Socialism is the answer for unemployment or government answers for those who are unemployed. I'm quite baffled at the ignorance that people exhibit about the benefits of a free people. If they only realized that the government involvement in everything from minimum wage laws to federal taxes is destructive of free creative people. It is not a zero sum game, something for which progressives are prone to view the world. Sustainable growth, zero population, abortion, Climate change, etc., etc. It goes on ad infinitum. When enough people understand freedom, job opportunities will return. Please pass the word.

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 10:52 p.m.

    May it please the moderators:
    Uh...Yeah. Saying that SLC is almost as awesome as Denmark is not necessarily the best way to make a point. And the Bible Belt is nowhere nearly as fawesome. I will add this to my list of Des News sources that provide "evidence" of how much better off religious people are in every way, shape, and form.

  • Semper Fi Bakersfield, CA
    Aug. 20, 2013 11:42 p.m.

    What an entertaining post board. I actually turned off the TV and had to run get my Depends!

    All the best to dimelo and others struggling. It is disheartening, especially after all the education cost and effort. Two of my five kids had to struggle with unemployment for a year or so, after upward mobility induced them to get their MBA. Now they have student loans to pay off, and they would have been better off remaining in their good jobs, sans the masters... But they went after their dream all the same.

    Now tell me why my Norwegian cousins live in one of the highest good economic countries, pay 50% in taxes, and have a state-religion/ but are not a very little religious folk?

    The math don't add up...

  • downtown424 CHICAGO, IL
    Aug. 21, 2013 7:14 a.m.

    Once again, this is shallow analysis.

    If we're to believe that organized religion is the key competent, why are so many european countries doing so well at class mobility, despite being comparatively irreligious? Furthermore, why are some of the least mobile states in the US in the deep south, which is exceptionally religious?

    Mormonism unquestionably plays a large role in SLC's success. I think a major part of that is the geographic focus of our congregations. Rich and poor members are not segregated nearly to the extent that you'll find in other denominations. Your ward will not be exclusively rich or poor people, etc. SLC's demographics and history also make this easier, compared to a place like Atlanta, or Chicago.

    Shrugging this off as "well, if only more people went to church!" completely lets the massive political and societal circumstances for these inequalities off the hook. It's irresponsible, and it isn't factually correct.

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 8:00 a.m.

    What is wrong with Romney outsourcing jobs to China?

    If he OWNS a company, it's his.

    He can do whatever he wants with it.

    Again, Romney doesn't owe me a job, you a job, or barack a job.

    It's MITT'S company, he can decide what to do with it.

    Any of you crying to could allow me to come live in your house with you, but you don't?

    Why?

    Are you all evil people who won't let me live in your house?

    Same idea. It's YOUR house, you can do whatever you want with it.

    You don't owe me a home.

    And Mitt doesn't owe you a job.

    It's HIS company.

    Don't like it?

    Start your own company.

    Besides, aren't liberals the ones OK will illegal immigrants coming into the country and taking jobs here. That's worse than Mitt sending jobs oversees. Because illegal immigration, for the liberals who forget, is illegal. Either way its giving jobs to non-Americans, but Mitt does it the legal way. Why is it ok for Mexicans to take our jobs but not Indians liberals?

    Great job Mitt!

  • WRK Riverton, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 8:40 a.m.

    In my case (a programmer), when the market became swamped with programmers, I made myself maketable by going back to school and changing professions. Now I am in an HR office and I still use my programming skills, with a HR twist.

    Make yourself more marketable sounded good to me, so I did it, and found a better job.

    HMMMMMMMM....

  • Nosea Forest Grove, OR
    Aug. 21, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    I can see Chris B is still going to cling to his "all is well in Zion" and the real problem is with the laborer who is compensated next to nothing despite all evidence to the contrary (all is not well in Zion and the laborer is being oppressed), and just going to church solves all these problems -- we will all be upwardly mobile then, just like Mitt. The greater point is masses of us on the bottom will never see any social mobility because of people like Mitt who pull up the ladder once they are on top. The US has the highest wealth inequality of all OECD nations, the richest nations.

    Hispanic immigrants coming in illegally and taking jobs away from citizens, when jobs are scarce, yes is the same as Indians taking jobs away so CEOs can take more money for themselves, only the jobs Indians take away are the remaining few that pay a living wage. But the greater fight is with the 1% taking it all and leaving crumbs for the rest of us to fight over -- that is the real problem, and it especially includes Mitt Romney and his ilk (D&C 49:20).

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 10:10 a.m.

    To "Nosea" and what is your solution? Mitt Romeny and other CEOs are doing their job by providing their company's product at the lowest cost possible.

    You realize that it isn't the going to church aspect that creates the upward mobility. It is fully participating in a large group with many connections that creates the upward mobility. It just happens to work well within the LDS community because Wards and Stakes comprise poor people and wealthy people, and they are all well connected together.

    If you don't like it when US companies outsource to foreign countries where labor is cheaper, what do you propose to do so that US wages are cost competitive with other countries? Are you going to make labor cost more by adding more regulations, taxes, and mandated benefits?

    As for illegal jobs, what is plan there? Are you going to round up the illegals, give them amnesty so their labor cost increases, or what?

    You are against a lot, but offer no solutions.

  • 1978 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 10:32 a.m.

    @dimelo

    My nephew who has an engineering degree was out of work for almost two years. His wife had emotional health problems and left him and took their daughter. He was barely making it. I saw him at our family reunion last month and was prepared to give him my sympathy and offer whatever help and advice I could.

    To my surprise he finally had landed an engineering job he wanted and was dating a terrific women who had been through a lot herself. He never turned his back on his faith though I know he must have thought about it. It was actually his religous foundation that help him right his course.

    He also did what Chris B. suggested. He made himself more marketable by moving to a different state and researching the company and job he wanted. I am also an engineer and know that it can be up and down. From my personal experience my faith has never hurt me in the long term but I have had to learn patience.

    Hang in there and I really do wish you the best!

  • Nosea Forest Grove, OR
    Aug. 21, 2013 10:59 a.m.

    RedShirt:

    Is this the same RedShirt that was telling everyone that Germany has worse social mobility than the US because Germany is a socialist country?

    Put a limit on how much salary can be taken per individual (a maximum income rate), to check the unbounded greed very much destroying our nation right now, and we will all fair better. Or go back to Eisenhower tax rates for the wealthy at 80% for higher income brackets and we will return to the much more equal society we had back in the 50s and 60s. Or quit importing 10s of millions more of immigrants (to drive down wages so CEOs can get $10s of million in bonuses), when there are already 10s of millions out of work. Use tariffs to level the playing field between workers in different countries, instead of ramming through unfair "free-trade" agreements that always disadvantage workers to enrich 1%.

    The greater point is we are doing nothing to solve the problem, only doing everything to make it worse (catering to the 1% to the detriment of the 99% in every law passed by Congress for instance) -- and it is getting worse for all but 1%.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    To "Nosea" the problem is far worse than you can imagine. You and your ilk complain about the wages that people earn now, yet refuse to accept the fact that it is because of government and the corruption that is present there that things are getting worse. Then, the fact that your ilk wants to expand government and make it even more powerful will not help the problem, but will continue to make things worse.

    Since all the studies out there have shown that in the past we had greater social equality, why is it that rather than look at what was working in the past you are looking at failed systems?

    During the 50s and 60s you claim that things were better. Lets look at what we had then coming from the government. We had actual budget surplusses, fewer regulations, a simple tax code, less government welfare, smaller state and federal governments, and so forth. Why not advocate for what we had when things were better rather than advocating for more government and more regulation which ultimately destroys social mobility?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 11:36 a.m.

    @patriot
    "The new liberalism effectively kills the American dream"

    Except liberals think that one of the biggest problems facing this nation is a lack of mobility, while the entire premise of the American dream is based on mobility, the idea that anyone can make it.

  • dimelo PEYTON, CO
    Aug. 21, 2013 12:36 p.m.

    @RedShirt
    We have less government regulation now and way more corporate control, government for the 1%; just look at the legislation that gets passed. It is far less meaningful regulation on the 1% and corporations than in the 50s and 60s (just look at the size of lobbying groups now, K-street or shadow government did not exist in the 50s and 60s not even close to like now), and things are way worse for mobility now than in the 50s and 60s. The check on the greedy then to keep them from lobbying was high tax rates for high incomes; CEOs kept their salaries low because of this, 40x the rest, whereas now with less regulation they are at 500x everyone else in salary, and thus the much bigger wealth gap now than then. Yes the government is corrupt now, but only because of the bribes and lobbying of the 1% that did not exist to the same extent in the 50s and 60s. That is the reason for the bigger wealth gap, government for the 1% now versus government for the 99% then.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 2:36 p.m.

    To "dimelo" in what fantasy land do you think we have less government control and regulation?

    If we have less regulation now, explain why these news outlets have written articles on the increased costs of regulations:

    "Yearly regulatory costs rose $70B during Obama's first term, study says" Fox News

    "New Regulations Batter The Middle Class. Obama Changes The Subject" Forbes

    "Regulations Under Obama Cost Households $14,768 Yearly" Newsmax

    If there are fewer regulations, why did the cost of regulations jump so much?

    Here is the other problem that you have not addressed. If the regulations are to keep the greedy in check, why is it that the greedy have not been slowed?

    Breitbart reported "Capitol Cronyism: Obama-Backer Warren Buffett Helped Shape Bailout Rules, Then Made Massive Profits from Them". By granting the power to the Federal government to bail out private businesses, we have invited more corruption. Warren Buffett's greed allowed him to make tons of money through corruption in the government. If the government had said "no" to the bailouts, then Buffett could not have profited. He used regulation to profit. Why keep giving more power to those who sell it to the highest bidder?

  • kvnsmnsn Springville, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 4:47 p.m.

    Downtown424 posted:

    =Furthermore, why are some of the least mobile states in the US in the deep
    =south, which is exceptionally religious?

    A lot of people think the Bible Belt (that I think you're referring to) is indeed "exceptionally religious"; is it? Back in 1987 sociologist Rodney Stark taught at the University of Washington that it's an illusion; people in the Bible Belt aren't any more religious than people in the Northeast or the Midwest.

  • kvnsmnsn Springville, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 5:20 p.m.

    A lot of people complain here about the 1% of the population that are taking 95% (or so) of the income. Let's say a CEO of a large successful company is making $500,000 a year. I currently have a pretty good job, but for the record I did my time as a Wal-Mart associate for six months, at which point I was making about $18,000 a year. Now if we were going to make things more fair, as some people have argued for, and perhaps make things more like they are in Germany, as some other people have argued for, then we need to put in government regulations that will get the salary of the CEO more like the salary of the Wal-Mart associate. My concern is, once we put those regulations into place, what happens if the CEO's salary goes down, but my salary goes down too? What if the CEO's salary goes down to $100,000, but my salary goes down to $15,000? The goal would have been accomplished; things are more fair than they were before; but I'm making less money than I was before the regulations came into effect.

  • donn layton, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 6:52 p.m.

    RE: Dimelo, this "gospel of prosperity" (Calvanism) work?

    Calvin's influence on America's founding is unmistakable. The nation's patriotism, work ethic, sense of equality, public morality, and even elements of democracy all sprang in part from the Calvinist taproot of Puritan New England. When Calvinist preacher Jonathan Edwards told worshipers in 1741 that they were loathsome spiders held over the pit of hell by the gracious hand of an offended God, he wasn't speaking a heretical creed but the basic vocabulary of American faith.

    By most logic, the stern system of Calvinism shouldn't be popular today. Much of modern Christianity preaches a comforting Home Depot theology: You can do it. We can help.

  • kvnsmnsn Springville, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 8:37 p.m.

    I posted:

    =The goal would have been accomplished; things are more fair than they were
    =before; but I'm making less money than I was before the regulations came into
    =effect.

    My point is that the free market is as successful a system as it is because it is precisely that, free. People realize that the only thing between themselves and fabulous wealth is the limits of their imagination, so they put there all into the free market system and keep at it, hoping their efforts will lead them to success. If you try tinkering with the system to make things more fair, you run the risk of changing the system so much that the incentive to work hard might go away, and then suddenly everybody is going to be worse off.